I’m sure you’ve heard people tell you, “You need to create a boundary!”
What’s your understanding of what a boundary is exactly?
We say, “She crossed the line.” 📏 Or, “He’s gone too far!”
Who owns the line? What does too far actually mean?
Life can be better when we create boundaries, but they can be confusing.
We think they are something that we set and other people need to obey.
When people don’t obey them, we’re confused. Can you guess why?
Because we can't control what other people do. Ever.
It would be so much easier if we could control other people, right?
Believe me, I wish we could.
It’s like when I’m offered foods in different cultures that I don’t want.
I remember visiting foreign countries where it’s customary to drink a cup of coffee in the evening.
I know I won’t sleep well, so I don’t like drinking coffee late anymore.
I could say I don’t want the coffee, but my host keeps pressuring me.
If people are used to offering coffee after 3pm that may be a very difficult situation to change.
So, what is the boundary I want to set? What is the consequence if the boundary is crossed?
The request might be that when I say no, I don’t want to have any further conversation about it.
I can also free myself by asking for an alternative before the offer is made.
When a strong culture is involved, does it seem harder to uphold your boundary?
We think boundaries are requests we make and if that request isn't granted, we'll do something else.
That's not it.
Our boundary is always ours. We control the consequences.
The other person will do what they do.
It's up to us to do what's best for us.
It's not the other person's responsibility to uphold our boundaries. It's always only ours to create and respect for ourselves.
If you want help setting boundaries, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's set some boundaries together!